In Brief: Uncertainty if COVID-19 reproduction rate is leveling off amid record number of new cases in Germany

On Friday, there was also a record number of new infections — more than 23,500 — reported across the country over a 24-hour period.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

By Monika Müller-Kroll and Kate Brady

Updated on Nov. 13 at 11 a.m.: Germany’s disease prevention authority on Friday reported a new record of 23,542 new infections over a 24-hour period.

A day earlier, Dr. Lothar Wieler of the Robert Koch Institute told reporters he was “cautiously optimistic” and that there appeared to be a slight flattening of the curve.

But he said it was not clear whether the perceived decline was linked to the partial lockdown or the fact laboratories doing COVID-19 testing have reached their limit.

In Thursday’s report, the seven-day reproduction rate rose slightly from 0.89 to 0.93.

***

Brandenburg state is calling for a national ban on the “Reichsflaggen,” the flags of the German Empire and the Prussian military.

The black, white and red stripes waved by protesters as they stormed the steps of the Reichstag in August have been used by far-right extremist groups for decades — dating as far back as the Nazis.

The flags are already prohibited in several states. But Brandenburg, where the flags have been banned for almost 20 years, is calling for a uniform, nationwide ban.

Every party in Brandenburg’s parliament voted in favor of the resolution this week, except for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

The call for a nationwide ban will be put forward to other state interior ministers at a conference in December.

***

A new study by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation finds an increasing number of apartments in Berlin are owned by large companies and real estate investors.

The study’s author told public broadcaster rbb that these owners are often looking for a quick return and have the means to more easily get around rent caps and other rules designed to protect renters.

According to the study, about half of the approximately 2 million apartments in the city are owned by a few thousand real estate millionaires.

By comparison, about 16% of the city’s rentals belong to the six state-owned housing associations.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.  

You can count us for factual and informative content. We are the go-to source for the English-language community in Berlin and beyond. If you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe to all of our original news, music and storytelling shows, including “Common Ground,” “Studio Berlin,” “Amplified,” “Leitmotifs,” and “The Bear on KCRW Berlin” available wherever you get your podcasts.